Meath supporters have contacted the GAA claiming favouritism was shown to Dublin in last Sunday week’s Leinster SFC semi-final in Croke Park.
Ahead of Sunday’s final between Dublin and Kildare at GAA HQ, it has been highlighted that the All-Ireland champions were greeted by what they consider the “fanfare” of David Bowie’s ‘Let’s Dance’ upon returning to the field after half-time.
Meanwhile, no music was played when Meath exited the tunnel for the resumption. According to a source close to the Meath set-up, the decision to declare Dublin’s arrival onto the pitch was “unfair”.
The same Bowie song has been played over the public announcement system prior to the start of second halves in Croke Park, although it has often been the case that Dublin teams are met by it when emerging from the Hogan Stand tunnel. The evening previous, Dublin’s senior hurlers came out after half-time to the same music in their Leinster final defeat to Kilkenny.
Going back to 2018, ‘Let’s Dance’ has featured in Dublin’s home Allianz League fixtures in Croke Park as it has in their Leinster and All-Ireland games.
The matter last Sunday week was also raised by Meath Chronicle journalist Fergal Lynch when he tweeted: “If Croke Park is supposed to be a neutral venue why were Dublin greeted with a massive fanfare over the PA when they came out for the 2nd half yet there was nothing played when Meath came out... Deliberate attempt to get the Dubs fans going?”
The consideration of Croke Park as a neutral venue when Dublin are one of the participating teams has been a hot one since the start of the Super 8 All-Ireland quarter-final phases in 2018.
In 2019, Donegal looked for GAA Congress to review their definition of the stadium as a neutral venue when Dublin were using it for their home match in the Super 8s.
Their proposal was soundly beaten, although Central Council were later successful with their recommendation that games in the neutral round of the Super 8 didn’t have to take place in Croke Park.
For several years, Dublin have been assigned the dressing room on the Hill 16 side of the Hogan Stand. However, that designation is decided on an alphabetical basis in Irish and Áth Cliath comes before the vast majority of counties other than the likes of Antrim (Aontroim), Armagh (Ard Mhacha), Cavan (An Cabhán), and Down (An Dún). For last December’s All-Ireland semi-final against Dublin, Cavan were provided with the Hill 16 dressing room.